Grey Cane Corso – All you Need to Know

What is a Grey Cane Corso?

A Grey Cane Corso is a rare color that can be found on a Cane Corso. It is common to see a Cane Corso with a Black coat usually with markings on it’s underside. There are however a number of different colors they cane be along with different coat patterns.

The Grey color comes from a recessive gene which leads to the Black color being diluted. This is located in the D Locus on DNA tests and will display itself as a small d to indicate it’s presence. Due to this being recessive it means both parents need to have a copy of these gene to be able to produce a Grey Cane Corso Puppy. This does not mean however that both parents need to be Grey to produce a Grey Cane Corso Puppy

Blue Cane Corso

If breeding two Grey Cane Corso, ignoring other elements of genetics than can have an effect you should expect for the puppies to also be Grey. There is still a reasonable chance of producing Grey puppies if breeding one Grey Cane Corso with a Non Grey as long as it carries the dilution gene. In this circumstance you should expect the following ignoring other elements of genetics.

Grey Cane CorsoD (Non-Grey Cane Corso)d (Non-Grey Cane Corso)
d (Grey Cane Corso)Dd (Non-Grey Cane Corso)dd (Grey Cane Corso)
d (Grey Cane Corso)Dd (Non-Grey Cane Corso)dd (Grey Cane Corso)

This shows that it is still possible to get a good breeding result even without two Grey Cane Corso.

It is also possible to produce Grey Cane Corso by breeding two Non Grey that carry the Grey gene. In the situation where they are both carriers of the gene you would expect there to be around 1 in 4 to be Grey despite neither parent being Grey.

Grey Brindle Cane Corso

Brindle is a tiger stripe style pattern which is often referred to as Tigrato when talking about the Cane Corso. Due to it being the Italian Mastiff it is no surprise the Italian language is closely intertwined so closely. The Brindle effect is recessive to the dominant Black color and in order for a Grey Brindle this needs to be combined with the recessive dilution gene.

Brindle will take the base color coat of Grey and will have lighter and darker shades weaving in and out in a tiger like pattern. It is unsurprising that this type of pattern is incredibly popular with potential owners. Due to this being recessive of the dominant black color and also recessive in the dilution gene this is a uncommon dog to see.

Difference between a Blue Cane Corso and a Grey Cane Corso

There is a lot of confusion around what constitutes a Blue and a Grey Cane Corso. When looking at the AKC website Blue is not an official color with only Grey and Grey Brindle being recognised. This is due to what people refer to as Blue being the same as Grey. Blue is a term that is used in a variety of other breeds and is recognised officially but this isn’t the case for a Cane Corso. Ultimately if someone refers to a Cane Corso as Blue it will actually be Grey.

How to Groom a Cane Corso

Grooming requirements for a Cane Corso are fairly light when compared to some other breeds. There are however a number of items you will want to take care of to ensure they remain in good health.


Despite there short coat they do shed and bathing can help manage this and maintain a healthy skin and coat. We recommend bathing them between once every 4 weeks – 8 weeks dependent on their lifestyle. If they are more active and regularly in wet muddy conditions then this may need to be increased. A Non-Intrusive ear cleaner is the b

Ear Cleaning

Earwax and other debris can easily build up for a Cane Corso especially if they are cropped. It is important not to use anything which is going to compact any debris in the ear such as cotton buds. We recommend getting a specialised ear cleaner that will break down the dirt and allow it to flow out. A Non-Intrusive ear cleaner is the best option.

Teeth Cleaning

Brushing should be done regularly roughly every 2-3 days. It is very important that you do not try to use human toothpaste but specially designed toothpaste for dogs. This often comes in a meaty flavour.

Nail Clipping

It is important to keep your dogs nails at the correct length as if they are overgrown it can lead to joint issues and discomfort. We recommended you trim them roughly every 2-4 weeks dependent on how much they wear due to their lifestyle. A number of people are nervous due to the potential for inflicting pain and making them bleed. We recommended using specially designed nail trimmers that limit the amount cut to reduce this risk.

Cane Corso History

These large powerful Mastiff’s are steeped in history stretching back to the days of the Roman Legions. These large dogs that can weigh up to 130 pounds were an integral part of the war effort with their keen capability to fight alongside the Legionnaires. They frequently were strapped with oil to run through the enemy lines allowing archers to ignite the oil through their lines. Their role however has evolved over the centuries since.

After the fall of Rome these important dogs acclimated to life in roles around farms and animal- husbandry. They often were left to carry out tasks such as guarding homes and livestock whilst keeping wildlife at bay such as wild boars. This dog is unsurprisingly popular in it’s native Italy and is very much embedded in the Italian identity.
There was still a time in recent history where the move away from farm- life led towards it’s extinction. around the 1950’s and 1960’s with no clear part in society they were infrequently bred and on a steep decline. It was only when some of the last remaining Cane Corsi, were spotted by breeders that their population began to rise again. One of the first breeders to reintroduce the Cane Corso was motivated by the nostalgia around them from remembering how his Grandfather formerly used to raise Cane Corso.

It wasn’t until as recently as 1988 that the first Cane Corsi, were imported to America. When a Neapolitan Mastiff breeder travelled to a Sicilian wedding he spotted this large athletic canine herding cows. This led to him enquiring further about the dog with the local farmer and he was so impressed by it’s characteristics he took some back to America and their popularity has grown ever since.

Cane Corso Health Issues

As with most dogs there a number of health issues to be aware of when raising a Cane Corso, they are afflicted by a number of issues which are common especially around larger breeds.

Hip Dysplasia 

This leads to a reduced range of movement in the hind legs along with a reluctance in jumping, running and climbing stairs. Ensuring they stay at a healthy weight and are fed a high quality diet will help delay the onset.

Elbow Dysplasia

In addition to Hip Dysplasia the Cane Corso can also be afflicted in the Elbow. Similar to the hips the onset of this can be hastened by additional stress on the joints from being overweight. It is important to feed a Cane Corso a diet rich in supplements such as Omega 3, Glucosamine and Chondroitin as this is proven to support healthy joints.

Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV)

This is largely associated with eating large meals rather than several smaller meals. Studies have shown that dogs which are fed one large meal a day are more likely to be afflicted. In addition it has been observed that foods high in oils such as sunflower or animal fat can be a contributing. Whilst this illness can be life threatening in the worst of cases there are additional ways to reduce the risk. Elevated feeding is recommended as a way to reduce this pressure in addition to several meals a day.

Cherry Eye

This is a problem which can be fairly common within a Cane Corso. It is where the third eye lid becomes inflamed or irritated. It displays itself as a small red lump under the eye similar to a cherry. This often displays itself through puppyhood and will require vet treatment to either remove or re-attach.


A condition which is present in a number of breeds including the Cane Corso. It will display as sudden and recurrent seizures if you spot these signs you should consult your vet.

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